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You are here: Home - Pregnancy - Cord Blood Banking

Why Cord Blood Is So Precious

by Balajee | June 19, 2006 7:41 AM
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Cord blood is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord of a baby after the baby's birth. Recently it has been discovered that the cord blood contains stem cells that are rich in quality and can be a great source of blood cells. This cord blood can be processed, and stored in banking centers and can later be used to replenish the stem cells in case of stem cell transplant.

Stem cells generate the blood cells required in a human body. When the stem cells get damaged due to any reason, the blood cell generation levels in a body will get affected. This can result in either excess of blood cells or shortage of blood cells. In order to treat the diseases caused by these conditions, stem cell transplantation need to be performed, i.e. new, healthy stem cells from a matching person have to be transplanted to the patient.

The best source of stem cells has been the bone marrow. Recently the cord blood from the umbilical cord of a baby has been found to be rich in stem cell content and is being considered as a good option for those considering stem cell transplant. Cord blood and bone marrow can be used to as a source of stem cells but cord blood has a set of advantages while considering for stem cell transplant as its collection, preservation and transplantation is comparatively easier compared to bone marrow transplant.

Further it is highly likely that the availability of the cord blood will become high as more people recognize its use and simplicity with which they can donate the cord blood for stem cell preservation by specialized banks, which can be used later for treatments. Cord blood and stem cell preservation techniques have gone through rapid advancements in recent times. Generally it is the cord blood banks which will practice cord blood and stem cell storage and preservation.

These banks will collect the cord blood and will test it for various criteria including stem cell count before placing it in preservation containers. Later the stem cells will be separated and stored in liquid nitrogen in a freezer. When needed this can either be used for the same person or can be donated to others. The details of the tissue type of the cord blood will be analyzed and entered in a registry to be used for transplantation with a matching recipient. The cord blood and stem cell preservation containers are normally cryogenically sealed special containers where the blood can be stored for a long time. It has been found that with proper storage cord blood and stem cells, the preservation time can be up to ten years.

Cord blood and stem cell preservation is making a big difference in saving the lives of people, as the number of expectant patients waiting for stem cell transplant operations is far more than the number of matching cord blood units available, it will be a great advancement if the number of stem cells in an unit of cord blood can be increased. Cord blood banking is not a procedure adopted compulsorily anywhere. Parents desirous of having the cord blood preserved for future use have to make necessary arrangements with the authorised cord blood banking services well in advance.

Check out private and public cord blood banking website for more latest information on cord blood banking. Visit umbilical cord blood collection kitfor more details on how to collect umbilical cord blood properly and safely through collection kit.

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